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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Richard Barentine, January 28, 1999. Interview I-0068. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Relatively modest budget for the International Home Furnishings Marketing Association

Barrentine describes the International Home Furnishings Marketing Association's cash flow. Money for the Association's relatively modest budget comes from manufacturing members' dues and grants.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Richard Barentine, January 28, 1999. Interview I-0068. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) in the Southern Oral History Program Collection, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Full Text of the Excerpt

JM: Let me asked you to reach back for some real simple information. What is your recollection of the operating budget to do the work you had to do in '77? How [did] that number moved up through [to] the present? I’m trying to get a handle on, frankly, how you managed to get all this work done. I still don't quite myself have a good feel for, or just even handling [of], for example, one of these mailings. How do you pull that off and how much money is involved? RB: The first budget in '77, as I recall, was $50,000. JM: Do your members contribute in proportion to revenues or something? RB: The manufacturing members [contribute] on a dues basis [based] on sales volume. The real estate developments -- only the principal multi-tenant buildings – [contribute based] on square footage. We then have gone back to our partners who get the room tax -- Burlington, Greensboro, Winston-Salem, Thomasville, High Point. [We have gone back] to their grants program and said, “Okay. Anything bigger in your town than us? We need some help. Don’t think that just because we are so big, you don’t need to invest in our success.” So, we receive a number of grants. Our budget for '98 -- just finished '98 -- was probably around $275,000, which isn't anything. It is not a big budget. I am influenced by Depression era parents. I came through the time at the Chamber of Commerce in Winston-Salem before room tax where we had to be terribly creative. We had to make every bit of the little bit of money we could get our hands on do the job. That's what they wanted when they hired me here at Market. We certainly look like a much larger organization than we are. We certainly have a printed image, a body of work, that is far exceeds what you would think a small staff could generate. It is because I can do these things. These poster promotions fall out of my head. They fall out of my head when I'm riding some place. These are easy for me to do. JM: Let me just say for the tape, we're in the boardroom where the posters covering many years of the Association's work are on the walls. RB: Because of partnerships, we can pull from our partners the visual images that we need to promote this event. Being in a box, you know you're going to promote to a certain crowd, but you also know you can't use the products that are currently shown at the Market. Knowing that, you just go beyond that. I will admit that some of them are a little more sophisticated than some of the people who get them. Some of them aren't well understood. The stretch might be a little far for some of them. I have had some of the exhibitors at Market suggest that their product should be on these posters or at the very least, one of their tractor-trailers with their name on it. That's just not quite my shared vision of the event. Fortunately, the combination of interests and perhaps talents that I bring to this job include the ability to produce this material [and] to wear a wide variety of hats from official spokesperson of the Market, [to] statistician, [to] historian. All of these things fit comfortably on my shoulders. When I announced that I was leaving, the question that those that were going to make decisions was, “You have to pick out the strengths that you think you bring to this job and that we identified that you bring to this job. We've got to find that kind of person.” We have. But yes, they've gotten a bargain. They've gotten a real bargain in twenty-two years. They look good. I've made them look good. They're a good product. They're honorable. They're honorable people, and the event is easy to promote, but they've had a bargain.